The Cross River State government has approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja to challenge the sacking of 20 lawmakers for dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recall that Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had sacked the lawmakers in a ruling on Monday, Naija News reports.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had filed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/975/2021 against the lawmakers alongside Governor Ben Ayade over their defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The presiding judge ruled that the lawmakers ought to vacated their seats having abandoned the political party that brought them to power.
Justice Taiwo, however, ordered the Assembly Speaker and the other lawmakers who defected from the PDP to the APC should immediately vacate their seats.
He held that all salaries and allowances paid to the lawmakers from the period of their defection to the present should be forfeited to the government coffers
Reacting in a statement by Christian Ita, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Governor Ben Ayade, the government said it is seeking a stay of execution against the judgement of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The statement noted that a motion on stay of execution has also been filed at the Federal High Court, even as he urged the lawmakers at the State House of Assembly and those at the National Assembly to go about their duties freely.
The statement noted: “This is to inform All Progressives Congress (APC) members of the National Assembly from Cross River State, members of the Cross River State House of Assembly and the general public that an appeal against the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja has been filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
“Also, a motion for a stay of execution of the Federal High Court has been filed. Both processes were filed by renowned constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome.
“Following the filing of the two processes, automatically the orders of the lower court are stayed.
“Consequently, the APC members in both the National Assembly and the Cross River State House of Assembly should go about their duties freely.
“Find attached, copies of the Notice of Appeal and the motion for the stay of execution of the orders of the Federal High Court, Abuja.”